Gates gives BIG!!

I came across an article today that amazed me! According to an article found on the Yahoo site, Bill Gates is giving $258.3 million dollars to fight malaria. Not only was I impressed with his generosity, and goodwill, but I also thought that his act directly related to a principle that I have heard about in many of my economic classes, dealing with positive externalities, particularly those that stemp from vaccinations. While part of the money Gates is donating will be used to conduct further research, a huge chunck is going to the production of a likely successful vaccine. Like I have learned in many of my economics classes, while those that will receive this vaccination in the future will benefit from the fact that they won't be able to contract the disease, positive externalities will also fall upon those that will never receive the vaccine. Because those that are vaccinated can't spread the disease, even those that aren't vaccinated won't be able to contract the disease from them, thus showcasing how a positive externality could potentially result from this great amount of funding from Gates. I have heard examples of positive externalities dealing with vaccines countless times in economics, but reading this article gave real meaning, and actual life application to me.

1 comment:

Dr. Tufte said...

-2 on Morgan's post for not adding a link, and for spelling errors.

This is a thoughtful gift, but we should be sanguine about a malaria vaccine. Malaria is a parasite rather than a "germ". It actively hides from immune systems. Any treatment is highly desirable, but they are not easy to come by.

FWIW: Treating for mosquitos with DDT is still cheap and effective. This method is not used because of the stubborn - but scientifically discredited belief - that the costs of DDT outweigh the benefits.